December 2009    Issue 35

Welcome to the December edition of ROTA's newsletter!

The work of the Winning the Race Coalition continues with the production of a briefing on positive action. ROTA are concerned that the provisions relating to positive action are at risk due to misinformation and incorrect interpretations. ROTA calls on peers, MP’s and the wider equalities sector to support the inclusion to give employers the option to use the legislation to redress workforce imbalances.

December will also see ROTA repeat its Hate Crime training and we are currently taking bookings although places are very limited. The policy team is also busy preparing responses to a number of regional consultations being run by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London Councils, further details of which can be found in the content of this newsletter.

During November ROTA’s Female Voice in Violence (FVV) project held a roundtables with central government department, and hosted by the Government Equalities Office (GEO). The meeting was well attended and engaged central government in the run-up to the launch of the FVV report in February 2010.

Also, MiNet and London Funders hosted a joint timely roundtable discussion at the GLA to analyse the findings and recommendations of MiNet’s report on the impact of the recession on the BAME Third Sector. Full details can be found on the MiNet webpage.

In this issue:
National Policy News
01 Equality and Human Rights
02 Criminal Justice National Policy
03 Health Inequalities National Policy
04 Education and Young People Policy
05 Other National Policy News
London Policy News
01 MiNet updates
02 Other London Policy News

National Policy News

1. Equality and Human Rights Policy

Wining the Race Coalition Update Positive Action Briefing

ROTA has produced a briefing paper on positive action that explains how it can be used and the new provisions in the Single Equality Bill. There is a fear that the Positive Action provisions are misunderstood and are at risk of being taken out of the bill and ROTA strongly supports the inclusion of the provisions to allow employers the freedom to create a more representative workforce. It explains the present legal status of positive action to address the inequalities and disadvantage faced by BAME communities in employment.  It also outlines how these will change under the Single Equality Bill that is presently before parliament and how it will be a benefit for achieving race equality if passed.  You can view the briefing here.

New Commissioners Appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Harriet Harman has appointed the 10 Commissioners for the EHRC Board.  The appointments were made from over 600 applicants and were made under the provisions of the Single Equality Act 2006.  They will join existing Commissioners Trevor Phillips (Chair), Baroness Margaret Prosser (Deputy Chair), Morag Alexander (Scotland Commissioner), Maeve Sherlock and Joel Edwards.  The Commissioners will be for 3 years from December 2009.  See for further details.    

Equality and Human Rights Commission launches Human Rights Strategy

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched its three year strategy to preserve, promote and protect human rights principles in the UK.  The strategy aims to create a climate of respect for human rights – through promoting understanding, demonstrating the value of human rights law in people’s everyday lives, and using its legal power. Stemming from its Human Rights Inquiry published in July the Commission is inviting feedback on its strategy.  Download: 'Our human rights strategy and programme of action 2009 - 2012' (Pdf) or request a copy via the Commission’s helpline for England 0845 604 6610 or Wales 0845 604 8810.

Government response to the JCHR inquiry into ‘Public authority’ definition

The Government has launched its response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) inquiry into the definition of Public Authority under the Human Rights Act.  This is important as this definition is the one used in interpreting The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and subsequent equalities legislation in placing duties on public authorities.  ROTA among others considers the definition too narrow and have repeatedly asked for it to be widened.  You can access the JCHR response here and the government response here.


2. Criminal Justice National Policy

Hate Crime and Restorative Justice Training 11th December 2009

ROTA in partnership with London Probation are offering free places to Third sector organisations for hate crime training sessions. Organisations from the public and private sector are also welcome.   The training which has previously received excellent feedback, builds on the findings and recommendations of the Restoring Relationships project, drawing attention to hate crime (victims and perpetrators), mediation and the value of London-wide and Borough-wide, multi agency, cross sector partnerships. Training will be delivered by experts in the field.  To register your interest, attend or if you have any queries then please contact Ewan Kennedy on 020 7902 1933 or email

Stern Review Secretariat Early Warning: Call for Evidence

Baroness Stern has been appointed by the Government to conduct an independent review into rape complaints.  We have been given advance notice of the Call for Evidence to allow more time to consider any issues to put forward for the review. The Terms of Reference for the review can be found here. As part of the review, the Stern Review Secretariat will be issuing a Call for Evidence. This will be going live shortly on the GEO website. The structured call for evidence will be based on questions closely linked to the Terms of Reference, but if you have any publications which you feel may inform the review, digital copies can be sent to ROTA’s Female Voice in Violence project will be seeking to submit evidence to the review, with reference to the extremely low levels of reporting gang-related sexual violence, and would urge BAME Women’s groups who support women affected by rape and sexual violence to also engage in this process. For more information please contact

Gang Injunction Passed

The use of a gang injunction, as proposed by the Home Office, has been passed in the Policing and Crime Act 2008/09. ROTA now awaits the production of guidance from central government for the use of this measure, and given that we raised concerns over this piece of legislation, will seek to advise the development of guidance through the work of the FVV Partnership. For more information please contact  


3. Health Inequalities

ROTA informs Department of Health report’

ROTA has informed a report conducted by the Department of Health on ‘Improving Health, Improving Justice’. The report considers the delivery plan of ‘Improving Health, Improving Justice’ assessing whether it enables offenders from the equalities groups to have equal access, treatment, shares and outcomes in the health services that they experience. For more information please contact the Health & Social Care in Criminal Justice Programme team in the  Department of Health South East or download the report by clicking here


4. Education and Young People National Policy

Commissioning learning provision for young people: DCSF consultation

From April 2010, responsibility for securing enough suitable education and training provision for all young people, including those aged 16-19, young people up to age 25 where a learning difficulty assessment is in place, and young offenders in custody, will pass from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to local authorities.

Education, employment and training

The Children, Schools and Families Committee has announced an inquiry into young people not in education, employment or training (NEET). The Inquiry will consider: strategies for the identification of and support for young people at risk of becoming NEET; the effectiveness of the government’s NEET strategy; the likely impact of raising the participation age on strategies for addressing the needs of young people who are NEET; and the future prospects in education, training and employment for 16-18 year olds. Due to high numbers of BAME young people who are NEET, ROTA would encourage BAME third sector organisations working in these areas to respond. The deadline for written submissions is 16 December 2009.To find out more please visit


5. Other National Policy News

NCVO respond to cut in OTS Campaigning Fund

Following an announcement by the Office of the Third Sector that they were withdrawing funding for the Campaigning Research Fund, NCVO have written to both Tessa Jowell, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Angela Smith, Minister for the Third Sector to express their concern and ask them to reverse this decision; as well as requesting a meeting between OTS and affected organisations. ROTA strongly supports NVCO ‘s request to the Office of the Third Sector to allow the Compact Commission to undertake an independent review of this decision, which is a clear breach of the Compact.  They have written to officials at both the Office of the Third Sector and Capacitybuilders seeking more information about the basis for this decision and have also contacted most of the organisations directly affected, to let them know NCVO’s action to date. NCVO intend to continue to raise this issue, both with the Office of the Third Sector, in parliament, in the media and on-line.  It would be extremely helpful if you were able to add your voice to NCVO’s on this.  You can find updated information on the action being taken on- Or contact Ann Blackmore, NCVO’s Head of Campaigns and Communications on 020 7520 2477 or email

Compact on the Web

Voice4Change England (V4CE) has recently launched its Compact webpage which provides information about the Compact, its relevance to the BAME third sector and how V4CE will work with the BAME Third Sector to take the Compact forward in terms of raising awareness and increasing implementation.
Visit the new Compact page.

Queen’s Speech

Bills outlined in the 2009 Queen's Speech programme include:

The Child Poverty Bill puts into law the government's commitment to end child poverty by 2020. It requires the government to make annual reports to Parliament on the success of its strategies to end child poverty and places a duty on all local authorities to address child poverty.

The Crime and Security Bill introduces mandatory assessment of parenting needs when 10 to 15-year-olds are considered for an ASBO. It reduces the amount of information police need to record when carrying out stop and search and gives police the power to bar suspected domestic violence offenders from their homes for a period, even when not charged. It brings in a legal requirement to store air guns safely. It allows DNA records of adults who are arrested but not charged to be held on database for six years and allows police to take DNA samples and fingerprints of sexual and seriously violent offenders returning to UK following conviction overseas.

The Equality Bill gives the whole public sector a duty to "narrow the gap between rich and poor". It bans age discrimination outside the workplace - such as when buying goods and services like healthcare. Business with more than 250 employees will have to report on gender differences on pay. It strengthens powers of employment tribunals. Public bodies should use £200bn of public procurement deals at their disposal to "drive equality" in private sector firms. See for full details


London Policy News

1. MiNet updates

London’s BAME Third Sector and the Recession

On 17th November, London Funders and MiNet jointly hosted a discussion seminar to look at the findings of a research project which ROTA carried out through the network of MiNet early in 2009.  The seminar proved to be very successful pinning down a number of concerns amongst funders, BAME groups and statutory bodies.  The discussions focused on how all stakeholders can honestly tackle obstacles faced by the BAME third sector, especially during a recession.  For more information on this please visit MiNet’s webpage.

Child Poverty Publication

A recently released report, ‘Through Thick and Thin: Tackling Child Poverty in Hard Times' (Download at: End Child Poverty), warns the number of children in families without jobs is rising to its highest level for a decade.  This is of considerable concern to MiNet as the report claims that without substantial investment now, 2.3 million children will be living in poverty in 2010, more than half a million above the government’s target.  Moreover, of further concern is a separate piece of research carried out at Essex University which shows that BAME communities are more sensitive to unemployment during a recession.  With the well established difficulties of improving the lives of BAME young people and the limited engagement of the BAME third sector in Every Child Matters agenda (click here to read MiNet’s mapping report), the aim of halving child poverty seems a distant reality from a BAME perspective.

Funding Hackney

Hackney Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), in partnership with Children and Youth Services, is opening up another round of BAME Forum funding for this year aimed at young people aged 12-18 (or up to 24 if transitionals) from BAME communities.  In total £30,000 is available and bids are being sought for projects up to £6,000 (or £10,000 in exceptional cases) across the following three areas: supporting BAME Young People into treatment, awareness-raising for BAME Young People around drugs and alcohol, tackling Young Peoples involvement in dealing and/or gangs.  The closing date for applications is Tuesday, 15 December.  For more information, contact Paul Asquith or Betul Baris directly on 0208 356 2172/ 2159 or email /


2. Other London Policy News

The Health Inequalities Strategy

The Mayor of London is consulting on his first draft of the London Health Inequalities Strategy. ROTA will be submitting a response based on evidence gathered through its consultation with the BAME sector earlier this year, which considered health in London. ROTA will be highlighting the continued health inequalities faced by London’s BAME communities as well as the key role played by the BAME third sector in addressing these inequalities. For information on ROTA’s response or to submit evidence please contact Barbara Nea on 020 7902 1177 or email To find out more about what the draft strategy includes please read LVSC’s briefing which is available at The deadline for submissions is 10th January 2010.

The London Plan

The Mayor of London is also currently consulting on the draft London Plan. The London Plan is the Mayor’s overarching strategy document which sets out how London will be developed over the next 20-25 years, taking into account economic, environmental, health, transport and social issues. ROTA will be submitting a response focusing on health, social infrastructure, regional governance and leadership and London’s economy. For an early copy of ROTA’s response or to submit evidence please contact Pavan Dhaliwal on 020 7902 1177 or email To find out more please visit

London Councils consultation on future commissioning priorities for its grants programme

London Councils' current grants commissioning programme reflects priorities agreed for the period 2007-2011.  London Councils is now consulting on its priorities for the prospective 2011-2015 programme. The consultation period runs from early November 2009 through to the end of January 2010. To find out more please visit  ROTA will be submitting a response and will keep our members up to date on how they can inform our submission. For more information please contact

Event: How London Health Commission Work, 11 January 2010

The London Health Commission is a cross-sector partnership that aims to reduce health inequalities by addressing the wider 'determinants' of health. This half-day event by London Civic Forum and LVSC will explain how the London Health Commission works. To book a place at this event, please visit,2ID4,L6PWV,7Y3C,1

Government Tendering Opportunity: A Report on Young Runaways in London

The Government Office for London is seeking an organisation / individual to produce a report on the situation of young runaways in London. Every year in the UK, an estimated 100,000 children and young people run away from home or care, with one in six ending up on the streets. The report would provide a detailed overview of the issues surrounding young runaways in London, identify examples of good practice and produce recommendations. The right contractor/s will have relevant knowledge and experience in the area of children’s policy and/or performing research. Bids for a wide variety of organisations are encouraged All enquiries: 0207 217 3064. Estimated contract value £20k. Deadline for tendering: 14th December 2009, at 17:00.